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What Is AP?

The Advanced Placement Program® is an academic program that offers university-level courses in specific subjects that you can take while you’re still in high school.

Each AP course culminates in an AP Exam, which tests the skills and knowledge that you learned in the course. AP Exams are standardized and globally recognized. Almost all U.S. and Canadian universities offer credit, advanced placement, or both for qualifying AP Exam scores.

AP courses and exams are available all over the world. Search for high schools in China that offer authorized AP courses.

Why Take AP?

  • To stand out to universities. Taking AP courses and doing well on AP Exams show admission officers that you’ve mastered university-level knowledge and skills. Nearly all universities in the U.S. and many universities around the world recognize AP Exam scores as a standardized measure of academic achievement.
  • To save money. Your AP Exam scores could earn you university credits before you enter university—which could save you money on tuition. Find AP credit and placement policies by university.
  • To save time. Your AP Exam scores could let you skip introductory courses in university. Use the extra time to take on a double major or an internship—or even graduate early.
  • To learn more about the topics you love. In an AP course, you’ll study a subject in more depth than you would in a regular high school class. 


Download a list of universities outside the U.S. that recognize AP for admission and/or credit or advanced standing.


How AP can help you stand out in university applications worldwide

BBC Worldwide Article

Taking AP Exams

We know the coronavirus (COVID-19) has created new and unexpected challenges. Your health and safety are our top priorities. Please review information below carefully:

In China, AP Exams are administered by two groups approved by the College Board:

  • Closed test centers (Approved international schools).— These schools administer exams to their own enrolled students (usually foreign passport holders).
  • Authorized open test centers. These test centers mainly serve students with Chinese National IDs, or some international students who are enrolled at local schools.
    • AP Exams will now be administered online (this year only).
    • Students registered with IECC will receive updates and further details about testing directly from AP. Thank you for your patience.

Open Test Centers in China

The College Board works with the International Exchange and Cooperation Centre in Educational Measurement (IECC), China’s largest assessment company, to administer AP Exams at authorized test centers located throughout mainland China.

Visit the open test center website for their updates regarding the coronavirus.

AP Exam Schedule in China

2020 AP Exam schedule

Due to this year’s circumstances, AP is setting a different schedule for testing. Each AP Exam will have two different testing date options – students will be able to choose the date they prefer (or their schools may advise). The previous exam schedule for regular testing (May 4-15) and late testing (May 20-22) no longer apply. Check our Updates for AP Students Affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) page for most recent updates about this year’s exam schedule.

  • You cannot take both Calculus AB and Calculus BC in the same year.
  • You can take up to all 4 Physics exams in the same year.
  • You cannot retake an exam in the same year. You may retake it in a subsequent year.

AP Exam Scores

AP Exams will continue to be scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Score reports are expected to be available online at approximately the same time this year- around July for exam takers and high schools that have AP programs. The College Board also sends an official score report to colleges of the exam taker’s choice.

Learn more about how to get and send your AP Exam scores.

A score of 3 or above typically qualifies students for credit, placement, or both at U.S. and Canadian universities. Over 600 universities outside the United States recognize qualifying AP Exam scores in the admission process.

Download a list of universities outside the U.S. that recognize AP.

Find credit or placement policies by university


  • The SAT Suite of Assessments

    This brochure offers information on the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and PSAT-related assessments, including details on scores, preparation, test dates, and how taking the test can benefit students. In English and Chinese.

    PDF Document 2.77 MB

  • Stand Out. Choose AP.

    This brochure gives a detailed overview of AP courses and exams, with details of particular interest for international students. In English and Chinese.

    PDF Document 12.82 MB

Educator Resources


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